Whistler is arguably the home of mountain biking and as the final stop in the Crankworx World Tour, it is the biggest, busiest, and most exciting stop of the year—a fun-filled week trying to squeeze in riding, racing and catching up with friends.
With Eddie and Matt fresh off a tough but successful Enduro World Series race and Emilie fighting jet lag, energy levels were low on the first day of Crankworx, but the excitement and amazing riding gave everyone enough motivation to start out strong.
A-Line is the most famous trail in mountain biking. With amazingly sculpted berms and jumps, other bike parks have tried to copy it, but none have come close. Air DH is a race from top to bottom on the trail and turning the fun-flowing terrain into a physical race where pedaling and scrubbing jumps is the name of the game.
The traditional trains during practice saw Eddie and Matt throwing huge and stylish whips and going for air time over speed. All that changed when the start line beeps began. Emilie was first up to race. Riding her Firebird to help with the pedaling, Emilie was riding well and hitting the backsides of all the jumps. Feeling a bit under the weather following long travels, she was not putting down the power she normally could. Enjoying her run, Emilie finished 21st.
Eddie was still feeling sore following an eventful EWS and nursing some cuts and bruises. Opting for style over speed on his run, Eddie pleased the crowd with his style on the jumps.
Matt was enjoying the A-Line race and was ready to pedal hard, scrub the jumps and rail the berms. Coming over the line in 6th, Matt left everything on the track and struggled to catch his breath. After the final riders had finished their race runs, Matt finished 11th – a good result, especially following a physical weekend racing the Enduro.
Whip Off World Championships is one of the more chilled-out events at Crankworx. A two-hour jam session on some amazing jumps in the bike park attracts huge crowds. Matt was the only Pivot rider competing and put on a good show for the fans. This event always delivers—with World Cup, Enduro, and Slopestyle racers enjoying riding together and throwing huge whips.
Canadian Open DH
The final event of the weekend was the Canadian Open Downhill Race and the team was ready for business. Two days of training had the riders up to speed on the classic course. With some fast-flowing sections, fun jumps and drops contrasting the flat-out rough, steep and technical riding, the Canadian Open course epitomizes the Whistler Bike Park.
Emilie had been feeling better and better all week after battling jet lag and a cold. Enjoying the track and getting in loads of training laps, she made up for missing last year’s Whistler Crankworx event.
Matt and Eddie enjoyed training; riding laps of A-Line and Dirt Merchant is a much more fun way to warm up than at most races. The track ran well this year with some rain over the previous few weeks, keeping the dust down and holding the ground together.
Emilie dropped in and was looking good on the big screen, pumping hard on the jumps and keeping light over the roots in the woods. She came out of the steep, wooded section and was hard on the pedals across the ski piste before dropping into a busy finish area. A mistake-free run saw Emilie finish 6th. Although a little disappointed with the result, she couldn’t wait to get back between the tape for the next race.
Matt was down at split one, but really pushed hard on the bottom half of the track. Generating speed over the jumps and hammering the pedals, he clawed back time and had one of the fastest speed traps coming into the finish arena. Finishing 19th, Matt was happy to put down a risk-free run looking ahead to the next round of the EWS.
Birthday boy Eddie was up next. Suffering from a head cold, he found his first day of his 30s hard, but it didn’t slow him down. Looking composed in the woods and riding well, he was within touching distance of the fastest time at the first split. Looking fast in his new Fly Racing kit, Eddie crossed the line in 9th to a huge cheer from the crowd for his birthday. With the final few competitors down, Eddie finished in 13th and headed straight to the lake for some much-needed rest in his old age!
A fun-filled and busy weekend in Whistler ended with celebrations at the local sushi restaurant. Eddie and Matt are continuing their busy end to the season with the penultimate round of the Enduro World Series in Northstar, California Look out for a recap from there soon!